2020 GFD 🏆 Awards

Winner: Villa Lambda by Mercurio Design Lab S.r.l.

Lambda, a geometrical description of space is near Singapore’s east coast and set in a very suburban sea of red-tiled pitched rooves in a mix of classical and modern pastiche. Its design was inspired by a scale model of the new Lamborghini ‘Gallardo’.

Winner- Global Future Design Awards 2020
Firm | Mercurio Design Lab S.r.l.
Designer | Massimo Mercurio
Category | House Design Built
Team | Kimberly Liu
Country | Italy
Photographer/Copyright | ©Mercurio Design Lab

©Mercurio Design Lab

The model Lamborghini suggested two triangles that mirror one another, creating an off-set shape and interlocking figures. This feeds the idea contained in the name of the house – lambda, λ, the Greek letter used to signify the notion of a wavelength, a triangulated formal composition of apparent opposites held in dynamic tension. This, then, was elaborated to pick up on the spaceship image which has just landed or is about to take off: the house’s aero foil screens cantilever 20 metres out to form the protective canopy or the porte cochère of the car parking; the aluminum-clad roof with the extruded flaps at the rear of the attic sitting room; and the attic’s louver which serves as the air-intake of an engine room.

The driving image was of a weightless building whose only structure would be the exoskeleton, a space frame containing the house itself. Two triangles cantilever off one another ─ one chamfered at the rear to add to the aerodynamic quality ─ with the whole structure seemingly balanced on a single point. The large glazed walls of the house are set well back from the exoskeleton and adds to the impression of delicately poised composition of triangular forms. The framework also provided a solution to the issue of a suitable attic.

One of the greatest difficulties faced at the early stage of the design was Singapore’s restrictive code that imposes a pitch roof with very distinctive geometric conditions. The challenge was to comply to the regulation for habitable attic spaces in a bungalow while finding an aesthetic solution that had to visually adhere to the dynamically unique and futuristic style set for Lambda since its inception. A careful balancing of building lines and roof eaves was the key to convince the authorities as it remains within guidelines without any compromise to the formal character of the building.

The interiors are notable for their space and opulence. It contains many custom-designed pieces which serve to unify the interior and the exterior in an integrated design scheme. The dining table is a ten-metre long monolith of white quartz with two stainless steel stems whose triangular profile references the exterior stanchions of the house. There is a customised bar counter with travertine-clad face that seems to grow out of the floor. Coloured coffee tables are made from duramite, and red, white and pink quartz, and a large red table can be found in the attic study. The triangulated legs of the pool table also reference the house’s outer form.

Villa Lambda represents a unity between the exterior architectural form and the interior character of the house. The form of the house is expressed inside and by eschewing complicated furnishings, becomes the main theme of the interior design.